Tuesday, September 19, 2006

WBW-#25 Round-Up is Up!

WBW-25xW-w.jpgA Global Guide to French Fizz:

Sam over at becks & posh has finished up the WBW-#25 write-up, done in record time... She’s pasted up some fine Pics of a few of the wine for this round and artfully leads us through each of the contributes entries, too!

Dave Fortna of AvenueVine.com in Sacramento cooked up a storm, creating a dense organic carrot reason bread, fresh chevre and brandy XO sherry fig compote–drizzled with thick old balsamic vinegar to pair with his 2003 Billecart-Salmon, Blanc de Blancs Champagne.”


The best and the rest can be found over at becks & posh–give ‘em ‘ah read–looks like 40 'er so folks participated in this one!

Thanks Sam for all your much appreciated work on this Bubble Fun Wine Blooger Wednesday-25...

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See yah’ fer’ WBW-#26–just do it!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Starlings: Grape Gluttons of the Vineyard

StarlingVinepost-w.jpgIt is a testament to Anthony V. Ferraro's kindness and character that the wholesale slaughter of starlings did not come up in conversation Sunday. European starlings, also known as common starlings, have eaten roughly three quarters of his red-grape crop this year, erasing profits for his fledgling winery here.

"They do quite a job," Ferraro, 65, said of the starling hordes that have overtaken the state. Starlings are one of two species that can be killed with impunity in Connecticut.

"You can hardly defend against them," Ferraro said.


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Mondovino: Series Released

MondoVino-w.jpgA new, massively extended version of controversial wine documentary Mondovino is failing to re-ignite the global wine debate – because it's only available in Africa.

Mondovino: the Series is a ten-parter which promises a deeper investigation into the wine world, and more “intimate and detailed” portraits of wine families such as the Mondavis and the Frescobaldis than in the original film, released in 2004.

The series has been taken on by the BBC but only for its Africa service. The film's distributors Celluloid Dreams said, “BBC Prime is showing it in Africa. We are looking for a UK TV channel at the moment.”

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Rain Plagued 2006 Harvest In Bordeaux

bordeauxrain-w.jpgBordeaux producers fear recent rains will dash hopes for the 'great' vintage that has looked almost possible during the growing season.

On the Left Bank this weekend, they donned the decorative robes of the Commanderie du Bontemps, to formally announce the start of the 2006 red wine harvest. But, clutching umbrellas under a grey sky, some couldn't hide their disappointment as rain fell on their vines.

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Wine Overtakes Spirits for First Time In Canada

CANADIANFLAG-w.jpgCanadians bought more wine than spirits for the first time last year, according to a report from national data agency Statistics Canada.

National wine sales reached C$4.2bn (US$3.8bn) last year compared with C$4bn of spirits sales, the report said.

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Aloe Sun Screen for Californian Grapes

AloGrapes-w.jpgA biodynamic Californian winemaker is spraying his crop with a sunblock concoction to relieve his over-tanned grapes.

Aaron Pott, who makes wine for Quintessa in the Napa Valley, is spraying his Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot with a dilute organic 'tea' which includes aloe vera, known for its skin-soothing properties, and yucca, a perennial shrub used in alternative medicines.

Pott also adds marine algae to the mix because of its apparent UV-absorbing qualities, effectively making the spray part-sunscreen, part-after-sun lotion.

"The grapes face the same summer sun exposure dangers that concern bikini-clad sun bathers,' Pott told Business Wire. 'We're all aware of the benefits of algae and aloe vera in protecting ourselves from sun damage. We simply took that evidence into the vineyard."


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Farm Workers Championed Volunteer Santa Monica Woman

Campo de Justicia - Forty years ago, Cesar Chavez and a dedicated troop of organizers changed the way Americans think about food. For the first time since the end of the Ag Age, we were forced to consider the human costs of bringing cheap grapes to our tables. The Grape Boycott may have made history, but it didn’t change the economic harvest corporate growers reaped.

Forty years later, the struggle continues. In an homage to Chavez, the United Farm Workers have embarked on an ambitious campaign called “Otra Vez” (“Once Again”) to organize farmworkers in California’s Central Valley.

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Cape Town South Africa Versus Pseudo Paris Tasting

MAPFRANCE-SA-w.jpgOn the anniversary of an historic international tasting, a Cape Town group had some fun when Cape wines took on Bordeaux...

In the world of wine anoraks, rare or unusual wine tastings are welcomed as enthusiastically as fiery debates about favourite labels or preferred brands of glassware. To appeal to a few of Cape Town’s ‘raks’, David Brice and Roland Peens of Wine Cellar decided to pit Cape Town against Paris – wines from the Cape against Bordeaux, to be exact. The company is best known for importing French wines, so supply was no problem. Less recognized is that they store a variety of wines - imports and top local labels - for clients in their temperature-controlled storage warehouse.

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Wine Defined: Oaky

oakebarrls-w.jpgIt's not uncommon to hear or read about some wines as being “oaky” or “woody” and when you first start learning about wine you can get confused about what that means. Well, many wines are aged in oak barrels so it’s pretty logical that some of the taste or flavor from that barrel can become part of the wine. The key is just how much of the woody taste is the right amount. It’s the winemaker’s art to make sure all of the taste and flavor components are in the right balance. Too much can overwhelm the fruitiness; too little and the structure may seem flat or flabby. Then there’s your taste to consider…some people like woodier styled wines more than others. You can identify the oakiness generally with the taste of vanilla or nutmeg from French oak and if you notice dill, then the barrels are likely American oak.

The beauty and wonders of wine is in its many variations!

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CRUSHPAD HARVEST KICK OFF PARTY

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TOMORROW: Harvest Kick Off Party – Sunday, September 17, 2PM – 5PM

To celebrate harvest 2006, we’re having a kick off party. We’ll be celebrating our third harvest with some recently bottled wines from our first harvests, demonstrations of winemaking and some cool promotions around Crushnet. This is sort of like our Open House, but done in the thick of harvest.

Wise? Not sure.

Fun? No doubt.

Go here to RSVP–(here)...

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Okay Chardonnay Keeps Fans Happy

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Recent comments about the growing number of Chardonnay made without oak brought several Chardonnay enthusiasts out of the, well, woodwork.

Many are irked that anyone would suggest that Chardonnay could be interesting if it wasn't fermented or aged in oak barrels. One was peeved enough to say she hoped that a winery that just had released a Chardonnay made without wood would fail. Another said she was fed up with wine columnists trying to dictate what she should drink.

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State of High-anxiety-The Grape Harvest

winwgrapeharvst-w.jpgThere's high anxiety in Wine Country as the harvest slowly gets under way.

The grape crop is late, yields are down, birds are a terrible problem and there are looming fears there won't be enough laborers to pick the crop.

"The 900-pound gorilla in the room is labor," said Fred Buonanno of Brutocao Vineyards & Cellars in Hopland and chairman of the Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission. "In the weeks ahead we will be tested."


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BENEFIT FOR INDIAN CHILDREN

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TODAY!: BENEFIT FOR INDIAN CHILDREN AT ALPHA OMEGA WINERY SEPTEMBER 17, 2006

Napa Valley, California, Attend an unusual fund-raiser for medical care for children in the slums of Delhi, India.

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Wineries On Hold While Red Wine Grapes Ripen

redwinegrapes-w.jpgNormally, Wine Country is bustling in mid-September, as truckloads of ripe grapes race into waiting wineries.

But this year, "there's not too much we can do right now," says vintner Adam Lee.

For growers in the premium wine grape-growing parts of California, this year's grape harvest is as much as three weeks behind schedule.

Sparkling winemakers are very busy, and white wine grapes -- particularly Sauvignon Blanc -- are rolling in. So far, though, only a small amount of premium red wine grapes has been picked.

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New French Wine Appellations Not Good, Say Critics

French wine authorities have been criticised for creating three more appellation contrôlée wine areas at a time when France is trying to simplify its wine offering to consumers.

(See: "St Emilion’s New 2006 Classification")

Authorities have granted Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status to the wine areas of Orléans, Orléans Cléry and Chaume.

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Winemakers Pink-slipped During Height of Season

LangtryEstateGUENOC-w.jpgIt's been an unusual crush at Langtry Estate & Vineyards in Middletown (Lake County). No sooner was the Sauvignon Blanc pressed and the Viognier in the hopper at Lake County's largest winery than the winemaker and assistant winemaker were let go, as was most of the management team.

So who's making the wine?

"We all are," enologist Steve Miles said. "It's a group effort."


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Moonshine Kills 35 In Nicaragua

illicitstill01-w.jpgAround 35 people have died in Nicaragua from drinking illicit alcohol.

Health officials have warned that the death toll is expected to rise, with almost 600 others falling ill in the country’s worst health crisis in recent times.

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Mount Veeder Appellation Winemaker Dinner and Autumn Tasting

Appellation Winemaker Dinner and Autumn Tasting Festival:

Winemaker Dinner: Friday, September 15th at 6:00 p.m.

Autumn Tasting Festival: Saturday, September 16th from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Mount Veeder's vintners share a commitment to quality. Though appellation wines are as diverse as their winemakers and the mountain’s microclimates, they share some special qualities. For red wines, it’s the briary, brambly flavors of wild berries; the hint of spice, pepper and herbs like lavender, anise and sage; and more structure than the average wine. The region's Chardonnays display reserved tropical and stone fruit flavors with a touch of citrus, and are often longer lived than their valley counterparts.
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Much of European Grape Harvest Now Under Way

After a hot early summer and a cooler August, some regions show promise, others cause for concern..

VineyardEurope-w.jpgNo matter what Mother Nature delivers to Europe's wine producers this year, 2005 is going to be a hard act to follow. Nevertheless, the 2006 vintage is already upon us.

Although European growers haven't experienced quite the roller-coaster ride their counterparts in California have this year, they did get a bit of a scare in July, when Europe was hit with a heat wave reminiscent of 2003. But the month of August was generally cooler, and led to a much more favorable fall.

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A New York Perspective On California Wine

HenzellVinLOGO-w.jpgThe California wine industry sometimes seems to exist in two parallel universes. In one, the air is heavy with a smug sense of self-congratulation. Billionaires buy pieces of Napa Valley, charge $150 a bottle for the first vintage and want you to understand, by the way, that they do it all for charity. Earnest ideologues natter on about the terroir in their 16 cuvées of pinot noir, but the wines all taste the same. Hot young consultants notch more 95-point wines than Paris Hilton has boyfriends. It’s the gospel written by publicists.

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Lindemans Label to Cover Whole of Southern Hemisphere

LindemansLOGO-w.jpgThe Foster's Group says it will sell South African and Chilean wine under its Lindemans brand, which has traditionally been exclusively Australian.

The beverage giant says it is a result of research in key export markets, which shows shoppers buy wine because it is good value for money, rather than its origin.

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SOLD! Arrowood, Byron and Freemark Abbey Wineries

FreAbArWodBynSOLD-w.jpgLegacy Estate Group LLC ("Legacy") today completed the sale of substantially all of its assets to Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Ltd. and/or its assignees ("Kendall-Jackson"). Legacy was the owner of three highly-acclaimed luxury and ultra-premium wineries: Arrowood Vineyards & Winery, a Sonoma Valley, California winery founded by Alis and Richard Arrowood and previously owned by Robert Mondavi; Byron Vineyard & Winery, a Central Coast of California producer founded by Ken Brown and previously owned by Robert Mondavi; and Freemark Abbey Winery, an historic Napa Valley, California producer whose wines were chosen to be part of the famous Paris Wine Tasting of 1976. Chanin Capital Partners, a specialty investment bank, served as exclusive financial adviser and structured and negotiated the transaction on behalf of Legacy.

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Don Sebastiani to Address CAWG 2007 Annual Meeting

DonSebastianiSR-w.jpgCalifornia wine icon Don Sebastiani will be the guest speaker at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the California Association of Winegrape Growers (CAWG) on Tuesday, January 23, 2007, in Sacramento, California.

CEO of Don Sebastiani & Sons, former member of the California State Assembly, niche buyer-blender of California wines and “2005 American Winery of the Year” are just a few of the labels connected to Sebastiani. With keen insight of the American wine consumer, as well as those in the world wine marketplace, Sebastiani is never short of words and will be speaking frankly to CAWG members on a range of topics. “I’m honored to be speaking at the CAWG Annual Meeting,” said Sebastiani. “Only one problem… I was raised to always tell the truth, so CAWG members better have their seatbelts fastened.”

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Great Match Wine & Tapas 06 In New York City

winespainGMWR96ny-w.jpgEnjoy wine from Rioja, Spain while contributing to City Meals-on-Wheels!

Join the Vibrant Rioja team at the Great Match in New York on September 21, 2006, from 6 – 8:30 PM. You’ll have an opportunity to taste over 90 different wines from Rioja, along with food from magnificent New York restaurants!

This fabulous event will be held at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, New York City.

The donation for entrance is $60 per person in advance. 100% of the proceeds will go to help support CITYMEALS-ON-WHEELS. Tickets may be purchased online until 3:00 p.m. the day of the event. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

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Winery Worker for Wente Vineyards Killed In Machinery Accident

A five-year employee of Wente Vineyards, Livermore, CA, died yesterday morning after being crushed by equipment he and another employee were moving, authorities said.

Alameda County Sheriff's deputies were called about 10 a.m. Thursday to the winery off Arroyo Road and concluded the death was not the result of a criminal act.

"It's absolutely a tragic accident," said Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Dudek.


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AV's WBW #25 --Billecart-Salmon 2003, Blanc de Blancs Champagne

The munch: dense organic carrot reason bread, fresh chevre (goat cheese), brandy XO sherry fig compote–drizzled with thick old balsamic vinegar.. This, and the wine that follows, simple soared across my mind and palate--a churning bubbly, tart, sweet, supple, sensuous dance of oral delights...

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AVENUEVINE On Topix.net!

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Much to my pleasant surprise, while I was cruzin’ the various news sites, I found some of Avenue Vine’s articles pasted up on Topix.com–way cool!

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Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW) #25 Announced: "CHAMPAGNE, Hic!"

WBW-25-w.jpgSam Breach over at “Becks & Posh” is the host for this one! Choose a bottle of Champagne within your budget. That's Champagne from the Champagne region of France.

Open, taste, drink your Champagne. Take notes, reflecting upon the color, the type of bubbles, the nose the taste, etc.

If you are extra adventurous, try pairing your champagne with some food and see how that works too. By no means is this a requirement just a suggestion if you’re so inclined.

So fill up your Flutes and we’ll hear from you on September 13, 2006!

How it Works:...

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Biotechnology Makes Better Wine Through Chemistry

Oenococcus-oeni-w.jpgBiotechnology is the basis for wine microbiology. Aa recent meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco CA, USA. The character of a wine/fruit wine was revealed as determined by a multi-factorial interaction of grape type, fruit, climate, location, microbiology and winemaking technology. The development of a wine/beverage type can be controlled through the application of biotechnological products such as - dried pure yeasts - lactic acid bacteria (Oenococcus oeni) and - enzymes (bio-catalysts). And much, much more...

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Washington State 2006 Wine Harvest; Optimal Weather, Stellar Vintage

As the summer days grow shorter and the weather begins to cool, Washington state's wine grape harvest kicks into high-gear. Vineyard workers throughout the state have begun picking select white grape varietals, with harvest activity ramping up in the coming weeks. The Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers (WAWGG) estimates the state's 2006 wine grape crop will weigh in at more than 123,564 tons. Washington state is the second-largest producer of wine in the nation, with more than 400 wineries, 350 wine grape growers and 30,000 vineyard acres.

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Monterey County Vintners & U.S. South Africa Wine Foundation Work Together

The Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association has been selected as the wine region of California to host a cross-cultural wine exchange program with the South African Wine Industry Trust (SAWIT) and the United States South Africa Wine Foundation.

Five wine apprentices from South Africa will be working alongside vintners throughout the region for a unique six-week program. The group, all with winemaking experience in their own country, will be placed in the vineyards, wine cellars, and business offices of Monterey County wineries.

Blackstone Winery, Cima Collina, Hahn Estates, Scheid Vineyards, and the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association will be the hosts for the program.

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Hugh Gets Down On Upped Alcohol

Hugh-Johnson-w.jpgOne of the world's most distinguished wine experts has declared war on the fashion for ever-greater alcohol content, branding the new super-strength vintages as "boring" and without "useful purpose".

Hugh Johnson, who has won a string of awards in a career spanning four decades, compares today's new higher-strength wines to steroid-packed bodybuilders.

His attack is echoed by other critics, who say new wine-making techniques and the tastes of US judges have combined to make "dull-tasting rocket fuel", at the expense of more enjoyable tipples.

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St Emilion’s New 2006 Classification

ChateauMillaud-Montlabert-w.jpgChateau Millaud-Montlabert, St Emilion, AQ31

The new, 2006 classification of wines of St-Emilion has just been announced with Chx Pavie-Macquin and Troplong Mondot being promoted to the select group of Premier Grand Cru Classés. There had been rumours that Valandraud would feature in this new classification, updated every 10 years, but there is no sign of Jean-Luc Thunevin’s wine, nor of any other obvious garagiste wines.

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Tiny Pours Equals BIG BUCKS In Napa!

tastingroompour-w.jpgTasting rooms are a crucial source of income for California wineries. California seems to have a new national pastime.

In 2003, the combined attendance for California's five Major League Baseball teams was 13.7 million.

That same year, according to St. Helena's MKF Research, 14.8 million people visited California wineries.

That's despite the fact that wine tasting isn't exactly cheap. While it's still possible to taste wines for free -- particularly outside Napa and Sonoma counties -- few visitors leave without reaching for their wallet. MKF reports that the average tasting room visitor spent $42.54 in 2004, up from $39 in 2003.

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Taste Isn’t Always Logically or Correct

The thing about blind tastings is you never know for sure. You’re tasting one wine among umpteen, a quick sniff and a swig. You concentrate, compare, apply what you know and what you think you know. You blackwineglassesx6-w.jpgextrapolate, which is a fancy word for informed guesswork, and you move on. With extra time you can come back to that wine and re-assess. Mostly, let’s say 80 percent of the time, a wine’s character and potential are clear. But the other 20 percent are tricky, because the setting is artificial. Wine changes and evolves, and context of course is crucial. What will that bottle taste like with dinner? Will it be better than you imagine, or worse? Tonight? A year from now?

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A Nervous 2006 France Wine Harvest

harvestburgondy-w.jpgAs French winemakers prepare for the annual rush to pull in this year’s grape harvest, anyone who does not own a Chateau is looking cautiously ahead at another year of problems.

New export figures for French wine look rather promising for the industry. Sales of French wine and spirits abroad rose 18 per cent in value for the first five months of 2006, with notable gains in Bordeaux and Côtes du Rhône.

This rise in exports has been greeted with cheer in an industry that has faced dire problems, due to falling consumption in France, overproduction and greater competition from New World wineries.

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Good Night Ground Zero, Good Night America

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Ground Zero Lights, New York City, 9.11.2006

9/11

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Has it been five years? It seams like yesterday but a moment ago...

“Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind; Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave. I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.’’


Edna St. Vincent Millay

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Thoughts On Pairing Budget Wines

Consider a painting. Do you spend more on the frame than on the art? Similarly, do you spend more on wine than on food? Or vice versa? That, in a nutshell, is the challenge posed by cheap wine. A touch of elegance on the plate just might be what’s needed...

Lobster Spaghetti
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I know people who open Château Lafite with hamburgers. I’ll take the opposite position with this particular collection of wines costing less than $10. Several of them were extremely good, and, white or red, were worthy of my lobster spaghetti made with ripe fresh tomatoes.

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Sonoma Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon Priced

SonomaMountain-w.jpgA Mature HILLSIDE vines with 17 year leafings, some 38 year and recent 4 year vines. Clone 7 and 8 on St. George and 110R roots. Spacing is 6x11 ft. with 4 year vines 3x11 ft. Cordon on 6-8 wire trellis. Sonoma Volcanics soil. Drip irrigated. Frost is rare. Leaf and shoots thinned. Vines cultured to standards in the Wine Institute Code of Sustainable Wine growing Practices. South Eeast slope at 834-758 ft. elevation The vineyards are mostly above the fog line with a cool summer Pacific Ocean breeze late in the day. Weather is cooler in summer and warmer in winter than the valley floor. 3.57 tons per acre. Statistics are available...

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More On The Seven New Masters of Wine:

TioMoWLOGOa-w.jpgThe spread of passes this year once again demonstrates the growing internationalisation of the Institute, with success not only from the UK, the USA and Australia, but also from Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Finland, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Harvest 2006 Amador County

AmadorPhoto-w.jpgThe Amador 'crush' is just beginning. The weather for the past month has been ideal and the grape clusters look healthy, so they're expecting a successful harvest.

The intense heat that affected California in July did have some impact on the vines, as roughly 5% experienced some sunburn damage, less than might be expected given our 12 consecutive days of 100 degree-plus temperatures.

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Paso Robles New Interactive Educational Event...

SIPPasoRobles-w.jpgSIP: Paso Robles Wine Country
Please join the winemakers of Paso Robles for a new interactive educational event, October 20, 21 and 22, 2006.

More than 85 Paso Robles Wine Country Wineries are Participating in this Weekend Extravaganza!

Study the place of Paso Robles and experience how soil, climate, viticultural practices and winemaking expertise influence the premium wines of the region during SIP: Paso Robles. SIP stands for studies in place and this new interactive seminar and tasting will help you learn about the distinct, different characteristics of Paso Robles wines.

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Schumacher’s Nudged Retirement & Win of Grand Premo Monza Italy

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After an emotional win in Sunday's Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Michael Schumacher has announced he will retire from race driving at the end of this season.

“It’s been a very special day,” said Schumacher in the post-race press conference. “There has been a lot of discussion for a lot of time and the fans have a right to be explained what will happen..."


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NASCAR NEXTEL CUP Richmond Harvick Beats Busch

nascar090906-w.jpgHarvick Edges Kyle Busch for Richmond Victory--And Junior’s in the “Chase for the Cup!”

Kevin Harvick ran down Kyle Busch coming to the white flag and won Saturday night's Chevy 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Harvick, gaining momentum entering the championship playoff, notched his third win of the year and secured third place in the chase.

Busch appeared to have it all wrapped up, leading 248 of the 400 laps, including 126 of the final 135. The 21-year-old from Las Vegas had his eyes on his second win of the season; he finished out of the top 10 only twice since Sonoma in June.

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Bonds 731 Extra-inning Giants' Win

bonds731-w.gifFans who came to AT&T Park on Saturday afternoon received quite the baseball treat, as their eyes were transfixed on a game that came down to an intense chess match.

Not only did they see a little free baseball, but they also saw a Barry Bonds home run, another decent outing by Jason Schmidt and a fantastic finish as the Giants beat the Padres, 5-4, in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 11th inning.

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Will There be Workers for Harvest?

Growers fear shortage of seasonal field hands will threaten $1 billion grape crop...

In the weeks before harvest, vineyard manager Victor Trentadue of Geyserville is accustomed to a stream of Latino laborers stopping by his office asking for a job picking grapes.

But not this year.

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Grand Pre of Monza Italian-Qualifying Results

Raikkonen beats Michael to pole, Alonso only fifth!

Just two thousandths of a second separated the men that many perceive to be the present and the future for Ferrari at Monza on Saturday afternoon, as they fought for pole position.
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Schwarzenegger Stays Clear of Grape Controversy

ZINSTATE-YEPY-w.jpgAs I follow Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's reasoning, the golden poppy wouldn't be the state flower because roses also grow in California, the desert tortoise wouldn't be the state reptile because the rattlesnake also thrives here, and the West Coast swing wouldn't be the state dance because someone, maybe the governor himself, has been seen doing the macarena in Santa Monica.

Thus, California doesn't have a state wine or even a state "historic wine," which is what the governor rejected last week on the grounds that singling out one wine for the designation -- zinfandel was the nominee -- would be "inappropriate."

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A Taste of Sacramento

TASToSAC-w.jpgFeaturing Sacramento Area Restaurants, Wineries, Breweries and Caterers!

This premier tasting event will be held on September 8, 2006 at the Sacramento Convention Center and will feature more than 70 of Sacramento's greatest breweries, wineries and restaurants as well as a silent auction with more than 100 items!

I haven’t been to this event yet, but it sounds like a lot of fun–food, wine and beer–all for a good cause and a good time, too...

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Ukraine's SV Supreme vodka Now In USA

Svbottle-w.jpgUkraine’s Soyuz-Victan (SV), one of the world’s top five vodka marketers, has announced the launch of its SV Supreme vodka brand into selected U.S. markets this month. The U.S. launch of SV Supreme, which bills itself as “the naturally smooth vodka,” is the first in a series of international launches scheduled for the brand.

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Seven New Masters of Wine

TioMoWLOGO-w.jpgYesterday the Institute of Masters of Wine announced that they have seven new members:

Essi Avellan (Finland)
Sarah Jane Evans (UK)
Lisa Granik (USA)
Geoff Labitzke (USA)
Kenneth Mackay (UK)
Rod Smith (UK)
Paul Tudor (New Zealand)


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Former Gallo Employee to Represent Constellation

DaleStratton-w.jpgDale Stratton, who joins Constellation Wines US after 16 years with E&J Gallo
view image Constellation Wines US has appointed a vice president of strategic insights.


The company said yesterday (September6, 2006) that Dale Stratton, formerly with E&J Gallo, will assume the position. Stratton will represent Constellation’s portfolio of wine brands to major national on- and off-trade accounts.

“Dale Stratton will provide great leadership and insight in his role as a vice president on strategic insights team,” said Constellation’s senior vice president of channel management, Ed LeMay. “He brings more than 22 years of beverage alcohol experience to his role and will be a valuable asset to our organisation in helping identify and take advantage of wine industry trends, evaluate our current business, and help direct our strategic and market resources.”


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